Shopping centres & mega malls | State Library of New South Wales

Shopping centres & mega malls

Perhaps the greatest shopping revolution of all was heralded by the construction of the first suburban shopping centres. Sydney’s Top Ryde Shopping Centre opened in 1957. With parking for over 600 cars, it offered housewives a place to shop in safety and convenience.

Many regard the shopping centre space as one of the new building types created in the 20th century. With its development hailed as a symbol of progress, the modern shopping mall provides a link between the two great icons of suburban living — the house and the car.

Enclosed malls create controlled environments that allow customers to shop in any weather, and they offer food and drink to encourage browsing as shoppers linger in a world without clocks.
These huge sites dedicated to retailing, with their beguiling mix of bustle and excitement – combining entertainment centres, department stores, supermarkets and specialty shops – have become the symbol of our increasingly consumerist society.